National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 February 2019

His passion for YFC runs deep – so much so he skipped going to university just so he wouldn't miss out on anything with his club… Meet Delme Harries the new Chairman of NFYFC’s Board of Management, a dedicated YFC supporter and a firm believer in its ability to produce future rural leaders.

Why did you want to be Chairman of the Board?

I wanted to support the Federation after what has been a difficult 12 months for the Officer team. I thought my knowledge and experience of YFC that I have gained over nearly 40 years might help the NFYFC Officer team move the organisation forward.

What do you hope to bring to the Federation in your new role?

I see the Board’s role as giving the elected Officer team the support they need. They are the ones who do all the democratic elements and are the face of the membership. I’m here to look after risk, regulation and finances.

How do you feel about the decisions that were made last year?

The decision the Board made last year, had to be made. I fully understand how people feel about the loss of an event that we have all benefited from over the years, but YFC needs to change. It’s an exciting challenge now as we are going to have to reinvent ourselves for the current membership and the membership of the future.

How important is NFYFC?

NFYFC is an umbrella organisation that has the knowledge and expertise to provide a programme of activities and benefits to its members. Often the work NFYFC does is all the boring stuff that members don’t see – but it ensures County Federations can run legally.  Regulation is key – health and safety, risk assessments, safeguarding, GDPR – a county could find it difficult to afford to have the expertise in all of these areas and many more.

People mainly join YFC to make friends and to socialise and NFYFC enables the counties and clubs to run and deliver their activities and events in a safe environment.

We should be proud to be part of a national organisation that represents rural young people on a national scale, liaising with our farming unions and speaking out on rural issues.

Which club did you join and when?

I joined Llysyfran YFC back in 1980 when I was 12 years old. I have been a club leader and now I am a life member and always help with the Performing Arts productions. It’s frightening that I am now working with members whose parents I was in club with – I’m dreading it as it will soon be the third generation coming through!

My parents were farmers and I still live on the farm but it's no longer an active farm.

What have you achieved with YFC?

I didn't go to university because of YFC as I didn’t want to miss out on anything. I ended up getting a job with the NFU and NFU Mutual and have gained a lot of my skills through my YFC experiences.

I learnt leadership skills, public speaking, people skills, how to work with people and be part of a team.

I think club officers forget they are actually leaders. We need to recognise the skills they have learnt in that year and give some recognition for it. We are producing the rural leaders of the future. These are some of the people who will sit on local councils, agricultural societies, local educational authorities and be the future leaders of our farming organisations.

I have learnt a lot about the arts after working with people on productions. I have produced about 23 productions for the club over 20 years. The club has won 13 out of 23 at County level so we have a successful formula.

I was a member of the winning national After Dinner Speaking team in 1994 and I was in a national final for the Entertainments competition when I was a youngster.

I also learnt that I am not very good at some skills – such as making pancakes! As a junior member, I forgot to measure the milk and I just put it all in and they wouldn’t work. Apparently you have to toss them but mine were just liquid!

Where do you see the future of NFYFC?

NFYFC is here to support its members, to listen, to work with them and achieve what they want. We have to move with the times – the members of today are different to those 10 and 20 years ago. That’s where NFYFC, with the support of Council and sub groups, can move forward. Members have the opportunity to feed into the future plans and I urge you to do so – we need your ideas so we can progress and keep YFC going for the generations to come.

 





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